I was talking to a friend who was feeling down about human-caused global climate change. “It may be,” I told a friend in London as we walked across Tower Bridge, “that our ticket was punched before we ever got started.” While there is no doubt we’re cutting our time on earth shorter through carbon emissions and the destruction of the ecology, it might be that our species was never going to make it past the end of the womb of our ice-age birth. I explained this, about how fragile an organism we are, and how the ice ages cycle. She laughed, she was used to my strange form of hope.
“You have to choose to have hope, or just jump out of a window,” a person I was interviewing once told me, a person who’d been accused of techno-utopianism. We were walking along the California coast hills at sunset, talking about all the ways our technological lives could go wrong, and the many ways it is going wrong. He wasn’t utopian, it turned out, he’d thought of the worst long before his detractors had. He’d decided to try to head it off, instead of jumping out of a window.
We are diseased and angry and we kill each other and ourselves and all the world. We are killing off life on Earth like a slow moving asteroid. I try to look at this, and my own part in it. Sometimes it is overwhelming. I feel so powerless trying to comprehend all the terrible things we face, much less get past them into our future, with our humanity and our inconceivably beautiful little blue-green planet preserved.
All these grown-up monsters for my grown-up mind, they are there in the nights I wake up terrified and taunted by death. When I feel so small and broken, when despair and terror take me, I have a secret tool, a talisman against the night. I don’t use it too often so that it doesn’t lose its power. I learned it on airplanes, which are strange and thrilling and full of fear and boredom and discomfort. When I am very frightened, I look out the window on airplanes and say very quietly:
I have seen the tops of clouds
And I have. In all the history of humanity, I am one of the few that has seen the tops of clouds. Many would have died to do so, and some did. I have seen them many times. I have seen the Earth from space, and spun it around like a god to see what’s on the other side. We are the only consciousness we’ve ever found that has looked deep into the infinite dark, and instead of dark, we saw galaxies. Galaxies! Suns and worlds beyond number. We have looked into our world and found atoms, atomic forces, systems that dance to the glorious music of the universe. We have seen actual wonders that verge on the ineffable. We have coined a word for the ineffable. We have coined thousands of words for the ineffable. In our pain we find a kind of magic, in our worst and meanest specimens we find the flesh of a common human story. We are red with it.
I know mysteries that great philosophers would have died for, just to have them whispered in their dying ears. I can look them up on my smartphone. I live in the middle of miracles, conceptions and magics easily worth many lifetimes to learn, from which I can pick and choose. I have wisdom and knowledge poured around me like a river, more than I could learn in a thousand lifetimes, and I am still alive. It is good that I am alive, it is good that we are alive. Even if we kill ourselves off with nuclear fire, or gray goo, or drown ourselves in stinking acid oceans, it is good that we have lived, that we did all of this, and that we grew into what we are, and learned to dream of what we could be. The only thing we can say for sure is that we will die, but we will die having gone so far above our primordial ponds and primate forests that we saw the tops of clouds.
“she’s beautiful isn’t she?” Loki glanced over at his brother. The elevator door closed when you slipped out to distract someone. Leaving the brothers alone in the elevator. You had no inkling of a thought that the god of thunder was in love with you. All you ever saw was Loki. The prince s and you have been friends since birth. Well most times it feels like you known them both since birth. Loki and you hide your relationship. Due to his trying to first take over Asguard then the little blue planet called earth. Loki was terrified Orin and thor would use you to get to him or use you too make him bend. Loki had one weakness. You were it! After him faking his death. Twice! Having to moan him twice each time convinced he was dead until he just showed up. Both times you beat his royal highness butt for making you moan his death twice. Then having too sneak off the planet with out your friends and Thor noticing you.
Its been years. Hiding your relationship, getting married in secret. Living in a secret life. But it was Loki. You didn’t care. Nor did loki until having too hear his brother. Talk about his wife like that. He tried keeping his face straight until you slipped back into the elevator the conversation went quite as you slide beside the brothers. Holding Loki fingertips as you spoke up.
“ready boys" “get behind us Y/N" turning too face thor to snapp at him saying you were twice as strong as him until Loki spoke up. “get behind me Y/N!” normally you would snap at him. But he looked down at your stoumch singling you had to think of baby Loki jr or Winter if it was a girl. So you groaned listening to your husband.
Thor noticed as he spoke. “what you’ll listen to him but not me?” rolling youd shoulders you said that’s right. Loki smirked. As you felt a sneeze coming. You tried to fight it until you sneezed and a second you appeared infront of you. Stumbling slightly seeing the second you. Loki chuckled softly realizing how this happened. The baby took after his daddy. Before thor could question it the doors opened and you saw three guards.chharge after you three. As loki and thor charged out of the elevator too fight. You stuck too the background. Next fight.
i believe the universe is not a good thing but a balanced one. things work themselves out in unexpected and mysterious ways and all we can do is breathe in and breathe out and have faith. i believe in second chances, in patching things together, in slow steady improvements. that there is power in flexibility, that life is chaotic and messy and almost always on the verge of falling apart so the only thing we can do is open our hands wide and run with it.
i believe that kindness and courage and laughter are the most important things in the world. if your love doesn’t give you any of those things, you should find one that does. i believe that this world is mysterious and miraculous and if you’re bored it means there’s a part of it you haven’t seen yet. i think that when we meet aliens they’ll look at us, this little blue gem of a planet, with things like rainforests and oceans and beehives and vaccines, and they’ll think what an amazing place. i don’t believe in soulmates but i do believe that some people are meant to be in your life, for a moment, for ever.
i think the rest of life is huge and beautiful and terrifying. i think humans are cruel and materialistic and capable of infinite kindness, shocking gentleness. on days when the world outside seems dark and pressing i think about how we looked up at the stars and left stories there. i think about me, next to you, telling stories of our own.
i love the earth, i love this earth, i love me, for standing here. for not doing it always right or perfectly but always doing it. reaching, struggling, searching for sunlight. it’s all life has ever asked.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
By now, Coran has taught all of them to use the star charts on the bridge, and how to locate specific planets or bring up planetary data on any individual location.
Coran claims that it’s to ensure the paladins are all capable of handing themselves with Altean technology, and so they can plot a course accurately in the event that he or Allura are compromised. But all of them know better than that, even if Coran is kind enough to pretend otherwise. Shiro knows Lance sneaks up to the bridge all the time, to look at the charts and find Earth, and learn exactly how far away they are at any given point. He’s pretty sure Hunk does the same, sometimes even joining Lance on the midnight ventures. And he’s pretty sure Pidge uses it too, although she looks less at Earth, and more at the other galaxies, searching through files upon files of stolen data as she tries to guess where her father and brother might be. Even Keith visits the bridge every once and a while now and brings up the holographic stars, although he never searches for anything; just stares around at them all, with a searching, wondering expression on his face.
Shiro doesn’t begrudge any of them the chance to look, and if he heads to the bridge on a sleepless night or during an off moment to get some work done and one of them is there, he leaves them be. It’s a private thing for all of them, most of the time, and he doesn’t want to interfere.
But Shiro uses the charts, too. Late at night, after another grueling nightmare, he often finds himself wandering to the bridge. And if it’s unoccupied, he’ll bring up the charts himself, and the color coordinations filter to show which planets and entire galaxies are occupied by the Galra force, and which aren’t.
There’s always so much red, so many planets that have sent out distress signals and never received help. Millions of planets out there occupied by the Galra, spreading like a plague for ten thousand years unopposed. It’s on a scale so great Shiro’s human mind can barely comprehend it, and the task in front of the paladins is so huge sometimes this is the only way he can even come close to understanding just how much work they have to do. Even with Zarkon defeated. Even with the Empire starting to fragment. Even with the Blade of Marmora and their allies driving a wedge farther into the cracks every day.
Sometimes, after a victory—after they’ve liberated another planet, broken down another splintered faction of the Empire—Shiro will visit the star charts again too. He hunts down the galaxy they’re in, finds the planet, feels a tiny sense of pride when that little red dot changes to blue. He clings to that feeling of victory when he can, because for all their work, blood, sweat and tears, there’s still too much red in those charts.
And still he goes back, many nights, and brings them up again. The swathe of red across the galaxies, across the universe, is like a red storm. It’s so massive and they’re so small, even in Voltron, that they just aren’t strong enough or big enough to stop it no matter how much they try. He’s not sure why he expects to see an obvious, visual change, on those nights. Nothing they do seems enough. This doesn’t seem like a fight they can win. On those nights he despairs.
But then he remembers the little blue marks—the innocent planets that have yet to see the storm, and never will if they keep fighting, or the planets that have been freed because of all their work, however hopeless it seems.
And he gains a little more hope from them. Because it might be a difficult fight, and it might be impossible to free all of those planets. But those blue flecks amongst the stars are still worth fighting for, and he doesn’t intend to give up on it.
“Yes, the Meta Human Thesis, more likely than not, these exceptional beings live among us. The basis of our myths, Gods among men
upon our little blue planet here. You don’t have to use the silver
bullet. But if you forge one. Well then. We don’t have to depend on the
kindness of monsters.” - Lex Luthor
Strife trying to find his s/o a birthday present? Oh and could you do Fury with the same request too? Pretty please? With cherries on top?
I totally didn’t use your ask to practice scene building :) x <3
To say that Strife was at all unthoughtful, callous, rude and feckless is…..Well actually, now that you think about it, that would be quite an accurate definition of the sharp-shooting, silver-tongued horseman.
But today, he’s reminded you of a side rarely seen. Not even Death, the eldest of their clutch could recall his middle brother ever having been so considerate. But something about you had caught Strife off guard. (You still couldn’t say, with any confidence what it is he likes about you so much) Hence why he found himself in a strange, faraway new world. A land of giant trees. ‘Ha, more like tree,’ the horseman grumbles to himself as he rides across a sparse landscape, completely devoid of life save for one, single tree. The poor, lonely thing stretches high, impossibly high into the dark sky. Strife would wager the top branches would easily brush the outer edges of Earth’s atmosphere, had it grown on the little, blue planet. It’s roots extend for miles, twisting and curling in every direction and tower hundreds of feet over the horseman’s head. Strife urges his mount on, further towards the centre of the tree, where he could just make out the mouth of a wooden cave, of sorts, set deep into its trunk.
Strife had exhausted every option he had, at least in his eyes, of finding you the perfect present. He’d talked to Vulgrim, who sent him to Ostegoth, who’d lent the horseman an old scroll pertaining to this uncharted land which was rumoured to hold a most valuable treasure at its heart.
Ahead of him, he could see that treasure.
The horseman grunts as he shoves himself through the small opening in the tree’s trunk and gets a good look at your potential present. Tangled up in dying, grey roots, sits a tiny, glowing orb of incandescent blue. Reaching through the wooden vines, Strife eyes his prize hungrily before gently grasping, then pulling it from it’s home.
The moment he has the round stone nestled safely in his palm, the giant tree above him starts to shudder. Pieces of rotting wood crumble to ash, the beast seems to sigh with relief as thousands upon thousands of metres of ash begin to cascade down on top of Strife.
Clutching your present to his chest, the horseman whistles and in a burst of sickly, white flame, his mount erupts from the ground beneath him, thundering out of the tree trunk, narrowly avoiding being buried. As he gallops from the falling tree, Strife opens his palm and stares triumphantly down at the little ball clutched carefully in his enormous hand. The horseman grins, now more excited than ever to be experiencing an honest to goodness human birthday…
Something nudges your shoulder, dragging you from your delicious slumber. You groan and raise a hand to lazily swat at whoever had so rudely interrupted your lie-in. This was supposed to be your birthday. Didn’t you deserve some extra sleep?
The hand returns and a gruff voice accompanies it’s incessant prodding, “C’mon Brat-features, get up. I got somethin’ to show you…”
Ah. There was that lovely nickname, given to you by one Strife- Wait….
“Nnnng, Strife?” you blearily blink sleep dust from your eyes and squint up at the vaguely horseman shaped shadow that stands over your bed. The shape shifts, folding its arms and letting out a breathy chuckle. At last, your eyes adjust to the daylight pouring through a gap in the curtains and there before you stands the bane of your life. Your Raison d’être.
“Strife,” you smile up at him sleepily. The horseman’s dazzling eyes flash excitedly when he blinks.
“Hey kiddo, congratulations on being born!”
You laugh lazily and sit up a little straighter, stretching your back out and wincing when your bones pop. “Y’know,” you grin, “most people tend to just say ‘happy birthday’ and leave it at that.” The horseman scoffs and levels an offended glare down at you.
“I look like ‘most people’ to you?” he huffs, “Getch’yer ass out of that bed, you’re gonna want to see this.”
You grimace and flop back against the pillow, “Oh God, Strife… If you say ‘does this look like a rash to you?’ and whip your dick out again, I’m chopping it off.” He barks out a laugh so loud, you jump.
“Shit kid,” he peters off into an amused chuckle, “You’ve got low expectations of your birthday present. Who the Hell do you think I am?” The flat look you throw him is enough to make Strife twiddle his thumbs awkwardly.
“That was only one time,” he mumbles before shaking his head and digging around for something in a pocket at his hip. “Anyway, this is what I wanted to give you….”
You sit up in the bed and squint at the sudden intrusion of soft, blue light that oozes through the gaps in Strife’s fingers when he withdraws his hand. “Here,” he whispers reverently and takes your hand in his other one, turning it palm up and depositing the glowing orb in your grasp. The moment the bizarre object leaves Strife, it begins to pulse, almost happily and if you concentrate, you can feel the tiniest of vibrations emanating from the little ball.
You tear your gaze from the object and look up at the horseman in awe. “Strife?” you murmur, curious.
“Well would you look at that,” he breathes, regarding you fondly, “I think it likes you…”
“What likes me?” you ask. In response, Strife settles on the edge of the bed by your feet and gestures to his gift, “Happy…birthday? Was it? That, young human-” he pauses for dramatic effect, smirking lightly at your raised eyebrow, “-is a tree soul…”
“…….I’m sorry, a what?”
The horseman visibly deflates at your blank look. “It’s a- It’s a tree soul. You know, the soul of a tree? Well, I mean technically, it’s the last soul of the last tree on a dying world about 5 dimensions adjacent to this one-”
“Waiawaiwait wait wait.” you interrupt, waving your free hand around in the air, “I’m holding a soul?” He nods. “A Tree soul.” Once again, the horseman nods his head enthusiastically.
You stare slowly down at the vivid little orb in your hand with wonder and amazement. “Why? And more to the point; How?” Strife shrugs his massive shoulders, letting his shoulder armour jangle noisily. “Cause Ostegoth told me that I should be ‘spontaneous and romantic’ and that you deserve something that isn’t superfluous-”
“Ooo, big word for you.”
“-Thanks. Then he told me about this realm, and I got to thinkin’, If anybody would want to save a dying world, it’d be Y/n,” he looks at you pointedly, recalling the amount of times you almost got yourself killed trying to save Earth, “You’re a sad sap who cares about stuff, right? And this is the last thing left of it’s kind and you were the last one left of your kind and it….” he sighs, scratching at the spikes of hair protruding from his helm, “It just felt like it was the right thing to give you… “ He looks up and finds you staring down at the soul in your hand. “Y-you don’t need to feed it or anything!” he suddenly exclaims, “S’not sentient, at least, not in the conventional sense. Seriously, minimal effort required. I just thought it was pretty and you’re pretty, so it’s a perfect match.”
Strife pauses, uncharacteristically unsure of himself, for once. You haven’t spoken yet. “D’you like it?” he asks hesitantly. It takes a moment for the gravity of his gift to properly sink in. But after a while, your face softens considerably from shocked awe to total gratitude.
“Strife….This is more than I deserve,” you touch a forefinger to the ball and grin when the old seems to hum under your touch. Strife scowls a little at your words.
“Well, that’s a stupid thing to say,” he scoffs in typical Strife fashion. Brusque. “I got this for you because it’s important, and you’re important. I wanted to give you something that might make you actually start to see that….” He trails off and rubs the back of his neck with a sigh. “Shit, couldn’t have made that sound any cheesier,” he mutters. Watching the horseman’s gaze shoot off to the side makes you grin sympathetically.
Strife’s shoulders tense up at once when he feels someone small and soft snakes their way around his torso, trying their damnedest to wrap around it in its entirety. He huffs out a short laugh and strains his head to look over his shoulder at you. “Well, s’long as you’re happy….” he smiles. “Happy birthday, Bright eyes…”
“Alya, I’m afraid I am in need of some assistance….”
The auburn haired maker pulls an extravagant broadsword from the grindstone she’s sat behind and swivels her head in the direction of the newcomer’s voice. Her suspicious glare quickly morphs into a friendly from when she spots the far more congenial of the horsemen, Fury, sauntering up the stone steps towards the central where Alya and her brother, Valus are busy crafting.
“Horseman!-” the maker raises her hand in greeting as she pushes herself up from the grindstone and dusts her hands together, ridding them of some built up grime, “-How goes it? Haven’t seen you around for a while.” She turns to her brother and elbows him roughly in the side, “Oy, Valus, don’t be rude. Say hello.” The busy maker turns his head in Fury’s general direction and grunts. Politely, the horseman smiles and nods in return.
“So,” Alya claps her hands together and turns back to the horseman, “What can we help you with, horseman?” Fury reaches into a pouch at her side and pulls out a crinkled, yellowing sheet of paper.
“I wonder,” she starts, handing it up to the awaiting Maker’s hand, “if you could make this?”
Now interested in the conversation, Valus trundles up behind his sister and glances down over her shoulder to the paper. Fury stands there patiently as the two makers study what she’d brought them.
On the paper, Alya notices a series of very meticulously done sketches, mechanical drawings complete with measurements, weight distributions, magical augmentations and detailed instructions written in beautiful cursive handwriting. At the same time, both Valus and Alya glance from the paper to the horseman and raise both eyebrows in surprise, although Fury could only make out the latter’s.
“A gauntlet?” Alya muses, “A human-sized gauntlet….What’s uh…” She taps the paper with an enormous finger and Fury cringes at the amount of blackened ash she leaves behind on it. “What’s it for? S’too small for you to wear,” the maker notes. Behind her, Valus grunts in agreement.
Fury hums at their questioning tones, smiling slightly in anticipation. “It’s a present for Y/n’s birthday, Alya,” she explains, “I’ve never met any creature so desperate to be able to harness magic before. Honestly, ever since I met Y/n, it’s been nothing but ‘I wish I could do magic like you,’ or ‘What I wouldn’t give to be able to cast spells!” Fury’s voice lilts in an obvious mockery of your own which Valus seems to find highly amusing.
“So, you designed our little friend a magical gauntlet?” Alya states bemusedly, “I haft’a say Fury, s’not a bad design. A little less sturdy than what we’re used to workin’ with, eh Valus?” she jerks her head back over her shoulder to include her brother in the conversation, but his mind is already far too preoccupied with his new project. “Bah… We’ll make it work horseman,” she winks, “Don’t you worry.”
Fury beams brightly up at Alya and bows her head a little as she thanks them. “Truly, you’ve done me a tremendous service. I just know that Y/n is going to love this.”
The maker nods before handing the blueprints over to her brother who promptly begins fishing around in a large, wooden chest for some old scraps of leather. “Though, if I might,” Alya turns back to the horseman and places her hands on her hips, “Are ya sure ya want to be giving the little human magical abilities? Sprite’s always getting into trouble without the use of the arcane..” She laughs playfully, recalling some of your shenanigans that Fury had had to rescue you from. You tended to pick fights with things a whole Hell of a lot more dangerous than you….
The horseman shrugs, “I trust my friend implicitly. Besides, the gauntlet will only enhance Y/n’s otherwise untapped magical ability. It won’t cause too much trouble…. Or at least, I’m hoping it won’t….” she rubs at her chin and hums in thought. Then, she blinks and looks up to the maker hopefully, “By the by, how long will this take, only I need to be on Earth by tomorrow evening-”
“Oh don’t worry about that,” Alya waves her hand dismissively, “S’simple enough to craft, won’t take as long as a day for us.” Fury sighs, relieved.
“Wonderful, this needs to be perfect. I’ve never given Y/n a present before, it must be completely without fault.” Fury begins to pace, the possibilities of this backfiring suddenly flashing through her mind. What if you ended up hurting yourself? What if her measurements were off? What if you hated the colour? What if-
Her rambling thoughts are cut off when a gentle, but powerful voice rumbles through the forge. “Kid’ll love it,” someone says.
Fury’s gaze snaps over to Valus, still with his back turned to them and even Alya’s eyebrows nearly disappear into her hairline with how fast she raised them. After a second or two without her brother saying more, Alya clears her throat and nods. “Aye, specially if it’s comin’ from you,” she says. Fury turns her head down to study her claws.
“I hope you’re right….”
Surprise, surprise; The makers were right.
When Fury handed you the intricate, beautiful, magically imbued glove, you nearly lost your mind.
Then you found out you might be able to cast spells with it.
“Y/n, I’ll say it again; Calm. Down.” The horseman stands with her hands on her hips and a stern look on her face as you flap around, a series of expletives and excited screes escaping your mouth as you admire the gauntlet and try out various hand motions, attempting to trigger something magical.
Despite her strict stance, Fury is internally elated at your reaction. She fights a losing battle with her mouth as it twitches at the corners before drawing up into a contented smile. She watches you dance around the bedroom until at last, you seem to recall that she’s actually with you. Then, her smile turns into a grunt of shock when you’re suddenly launching yourself at her and throwing both arms around her slender neck, squeezing tightly.
You sigh against her cheek, stretching up on your toes to properly reach. “Thank you, Fury,” you gasp, relishing the amount of thought and love she’d poured into the gift.
“You’re quite welcome,” she coos. The horseman allows you to cling to her for a long time as she basks in the warmth your body’s providing. With her eyes closed, Fury raises her hand to stroke through your hair, then whispers against your hair, “Of course, you’ll need to go through rigorous training before you can cast even the simplest of spells.”
You groan loudly at the words and she laughs loudly. “Happy birthday, Y/n!”
He dragged the weight from his shoulders to his feet, burdened by the direction of his unstoppable march. Cards were dealt and yet the sound of the war still reverberated against the glorious golden mountains. All songs would end. And he would witness it. But he had a choice –everyone always had a choice– and it had been done willingly. Two unmeasurable, incomparable sides, and he had to choose one. Impossible, unthinkable, and nonetheless it had to be done.
If his hearts were given the chance to be truthful, he would admit that, during his quivers, it was difficult to draw the line between the sake of the universe and his own. He did his best to push those thoughts away from the road, replacing them with memories of that little blue planet, of its people, of how they reach the stars and, oh, the things they meet, how far they go; and, in turn, everything those things, those places, those lives out there do, strangers to this bizarre fight, and how he couldn’t and wouldn’t allow their chance to be torn away.
She had picked that form and, for the life of him, he could not put a name on that face. He pitied her, the one most powerful weapon in the universe with a conscience, for having to deal with the likes of him, the lesser man who came to light the flame.
She decided to walk with him. He did not protest. He felt the distinct taste of a ceremony once they held hands in silent unison. What was this grip of hers flowing into him? Compassion, maybe? The Time Lord clenched his free hand, the wind ripping the swell of condensation born from his trembling. He did not deserve such kindness.
Ashes tainted the path and crushed under his feet even when he pressed the trigger. The Moment had come. Although it did not go off right away. For an extra minute, everyone was given one more breath, one last free thought. That was when Cass appeared.
The Doctor tried to warn her, told her to get away. However, Cass cursed him; the damage was done, Time Lords and Daleks were insanely alike; he was just a killer. She told him he was better off dead.
He dared not merely attempt to correct her, nor did he feel the need to.
He stayed until they died. But he awoke inside his TARDIS, floating in the middle of a now-nowhere. A last lingering comfort of the Moment, or perhaps a curse on its own: to survive, to go on, to live.
The sound of the screaming ones bursted inside his head. Dread, pain, hopelessness, and, together, the voices shrieked until the sound was no more. All the links, severed. That silence would follow him until the end of his days, for that was the price of that choice, one like no other.
The gold had long faded but he wore new hands. He had been born with no memories, he had died unsure of who he was anymore, and he couldn’t care less of what he was now, other than the last of the Time Lords, hands forevermore tainted and heartbeat throbbing in ache.
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this, at a distance of roughly ninety million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet, whose ape descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has, or had, a problem, which was this. Most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small, green pieces of paper, which is odd, because on the whole, it wasn’t the small, green pieces of paper which were unhappy.
And so the problem remained, and lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake coming down from the trees in the first place, and some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no-one should ever have left the oceans.
And then one day, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl, sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realised what it was that had been going wrong all this time and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no-one would have to get nalied to anything.
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and so the idea was lost forever.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy